#1. This is important. Reacquaint yourself with the Constitution of the United States. Review the Bill of Rights. You can read it all here.
the Vermont State Capitol Building in Montpelier
(please notice that the building abuts a wooded hill...)
#2. Have the addresses and phone numbers of your political leaders handy. Have a few postage stamps around, too. Raise your voice. Let your leaders know where you stand on issues and ask them to be accountable to their constituents.
#3. Be an ally for those who are feeling marginalized and threatened. Be an upstander rather than a bystander.
#4. Identify what really matters to you and donate money and/or time to organizations that work on these issues. Find charities you can trust by clicking here.
#5. Consider organizing or participating in direct action. Write letters to the editor. Network. Collaborate.
#6. Learn about non-violent communication. You can read about it here. If this intrigues you, practice it with friends and colleagues. Especially those who may have different opinions than yours.
#7. Continue your education...take a class, hang out at the library, read things that challenge your own status quo.
#8. Practice self care. Eat well. Get good sleep. Move. Meditate. Create. Ignore the media once in a while.
#9. Open your home to friends. Host a potluck. Invite friends to a poetry reading. Have a dance party. Gather for a craft night. Do jigsaw puzzles together.
#10. Stay in touch with loved ones. Text. Email. Phone calls. Snail mail.
#10. Get outdoors. Visit Mother Nature's Cathedral. Just sit in the quiet and breathe.
What would you add, dearest readers? What is in your tool kit for these most remarkable times?
One of our beloved birches had to be cut down during renovations. Batman executed my whimsical idea with great enthusiasm. (And friends, we need all the whimsical we can find these days, eh?) The trunk was made upright and sturdy by repurposing a Christmas tree stand. Batman drilled four holes at an angle near the top of trunk and glued some dowels firmly in place. Tomorrow we'll attach the base to a slab of plywood that he cut into a circle and treated with a few coats of tung oil. Voila! Additional hanging space, just in time for our annual snowshoeing weekend, with a houseful of very special people arriving in layers of vests and jackets...
A few weeks ago Batman and I went to see a live performance by Darlingside, a band we had never heard of before. Now I listen to them all*the*time. Four college buddies who are getting a name for themselves, they are based in Massachusetts and currently on tour in Europe. Click here and select the video titled "go back".
On Being recently rebroadcast an interview with Maria Popova of Brain Pickings fame. It is worth another listen, especially these days.
My Instagram feed is filling up with so much activism, hope, resistance and creativity that I am encouraged. There are kindred spirits in this world and I imagine holding hands with all of you in a strong circle of solidarity where the circle widens to welcome new folks whenever they wander by.
September's project of harvesting indigo from our gardens and then dyeing with the indigo seems so very far away from today's snowy, windy and cold weather. Today I'm finishing up a piece I started last month...just a study of sorts, in texture, color and placement, using birch bark bits, acorn caps and poppy seed heads.
I'm reading Upstream, Selected Essays by Mary Oliver. I think of her work as sacred text. Her words sometimes make me tear. Or inhale sharply with their raw truths and crystalline insights.
"Attention is the beginning of devotion."
Oh, yes. Paying attention. With thread and needle and cloth today.
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
I'm not really sure how else to step into this most uncertain year...
...may it bring out the best in all of us,
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